Milan: lost in Paolo Sarpi between ravioli and bubble tea
Milan: lost in Paolo Sarpi between ravioli and bubble tea
Anonim

Carnival, chatter, traditional sweets are fine. In Milan, however, while we are puzzling to find a minimally original costume, there is a part of the city that is preparing to celebrate the New Year's. That Chinese.

We are on the way Paolo Sarpi in Milan, where almond-shaped eyes are the majority, and where the gourmet business is starting to get serious.

If once the Milanese Chinatown offered "only" Chinese trattorias in neon lights and luminous paintings with 3D waterfalls, today a gastronomic revolution is underway that "cleans up" the premises and modernizes them to make them coexist with traditional gastronomy which, fortunately, it "can't be touched".

New Year's Eve and food: two attractions that are too tempting for me to miss the opportunity.

I decide to dedicate an afternoon to Milan Chinese to eat, subverting the logical patterns of first the salty and then the sweet, for a few hours everything counts and only the instinct to taste counts, the one that pushes you to make senseless mixtures just for the record.

Because mine is a mission.

The only limitation is a budget set at 20 euros. For two people. And I said it all.

Milan, paolo sarpi
Milan, paolo sarpi

It's 5pm, Via Paolo Sarpi is set up for a party and it's time for a snack. We have not traveled even a hundred meters and we are already standing in front of a shop window, attracted by the only slightly shabby chic pastry shop in the area.

Of the bubble tea I have often heard of it but I have never tasted it, it is time for me to sacrifice myself for the cause.

It is a drink (literally an eat and drink) of Taiwanese origins. The base is green tea and milk, flavored with different flavors, and "seasoned" with gelatinous tapioca balls that fall to the bottom of the glass and reach the mouth directly from an oversized diameter straw.

Bubble tea matcha, Milan, Paolo Sarpi
Bubble tea matcha, Milan, Paolo Sarpi

Bubble tea can be drunk cold and lukewarm: we choose the more comfort version, and as a taste we opt for matcha.

At Chateau Dufan they prepare it on the spot with matcha powder and warmed milk: I expect a lot, a lot.

bubble tea, matcha, Milan, Paolo Sarpi
bubble tea, matcha, Milan, Paolo Sarpi
matcha 2
matcha 2

Now, bubble tea and I may not have understood each other. But I doubt that I have chosen the wrong flavor: matcha is not one of my passions, only that I thought I would do well since choosing it with fruit would have trivialized everything, making the flavor more malleable to the West than I am.

Tapioca balls are, in essence, tasteless: more of a habit than a substance, but when they arrive from the super straw they force you to stop for a moment and chew.

Without them the glass would empty sooner: in short, in my interpretation they serve to make slow a drink that would be (even in the form of a take away glass) very fast.

Cost: 3.50 euros.

eggs in you, paolo sarpi, milan
eggs in you, paolo sarpi, milan
eggs 2
eggs 2

Our gastronomic tour resumes, a few meters further on: “look at the centenary eggs” we think in front of an uninviting brown soup in which eggs float. The gentleman who guards them between the outside tables of a restaurant knows only one Italian word: "yes".

"Are they centenary eggs?" - " Yup

"But no, it can't be: are they boiled eggs?" - " Yup

"What is this water?" - " Yup

We make a sign with our fingers: 2, he responds with his thumb to 1. 2 eggs we don't know how, at the cost of one euro. Did you say receipt? Receipt who?

A few showcases further on (from here on we have seen similar eggs in every corner) we discover that the eggs are simply boiled in tea. They take on a slightly sweeter taste, but are basically hard-boiled eggs.

Cost of 2 eggs: 1 euro.

paolo sarpi, milan, gastronomy
paolo sarpi, milan, gastronomy
gastronomy 2
gastronomy 2
gastronomy 3
gastronomy 3

Scattered Order: Remember?

So, a little by chance, we enter to browse a Chinese gastronomy 2.0: they too have bowed to the tyranny of the open kitchen, indeed, even in the shop window.

The place is nice, cared for more than average, with "themed" chandeliers.

It is not a negligible thing, on the contrary the fact that you are able to even dare some artistic whim is the furthest thing from the aforementioned trattorias, those that slightly veer on kitsch, present?

Milan, paolo sarpi, gastronomy
Milan, paolo sarpi, gastronomy
paolo sarpi, milan, gastronomy
paolo sarpi, milan, gastronomy

We order, we are assigned table 15 and we wait for sessions: time zero, the house fried ravioli arrive.

They are "fried" on one side only, or rather they are passed in oil only on the bottom. The filling is meat, the taste is excellent.

We would only have done better to listen to the signs on the walls, because they turned out to be very slobbering. Still very good.

paolo sarpi, milan, gastronomy
paolo sarpi, milan, gastronomy

There is also Taiwan Gua Bao, a spongy steamed bun with pork and an unspeakable dose of coriander that asphalts my palate for the next hour.

Cost of the sandwich and ravioli with two bottles of water, all served at the table: 9.30 euros.

Tofu, paolo sarpi, milan
Tofu, paolo sarpi, milan
tofu2
tofu2

Always on via Paolo Sarpi, a certainty has been made. We walked a bit, we finally got the anesthesia of the coriander out of our mouths, we are ready for a strolling aperitif.

We enter a tofuria, if the term exists.

Here only tofu is sold, in all sauces, smokes, colors, shapes. It looks like a butcher's shop, one of those old-fashioned ones with sawdust on the ground, and inside there is a girl intent on handling her cell phone.

Everywhere the words "No GMOs" stand out: it is clear that when it comes to soy, the subject is delicate. And anyway, since it's non-GMO, why not try one of the tofu for a walk?

We choose the spicy one: the tray costs one euro and we can continue the tour around Chinatown armed with two toothpicks. Not good, very good, very tasty, spicy.

Cost (without receipt, what do you need to do?): 1 euro.

ravioli, paolo sarpi, milan
ravioli, paolo sarpi, milan
ravioli, paolo sarpi, milan
ravioli, paolo sarpi, milan
ravioli3
ravioli3

And then, when we thought we had already given, we come across the new one Ravioleria Sarpi: yes, it's the one with the queue of customers.

It is not a place, but a kitchen of three meters by three open to the street, where you can buy fresh ravioli to cook at home, or already cooked to eat in pure oriental-street food style.

The pasta is fresh, made instantly, there are two fillings (pork and cabbage, or beef and leek), they are cooked on the spot and are truly remarkable.

The real novelty is the raw materials: the meat comes from the historic butcher's shop right next to it, when the filling is chicken there is a guarantee that they are free-range animals, the flours are from biodynamic agriculture.

In short, all done in gourmet fashion apart from the price that remains popular and without bloating: 4 ravioli a 2, 50 euros.

ravioleria sarpi, milan
ravioleria sarpi, milan
ravioleria sarpi, milan
ravioleria sarpi, milan

We order 4 with pork and cabbage. We accidentally get the beef. They offer them to us and they even get the 4 to the pork: just a few drops of soy sauce, you don't need anything else.

They are really good, you just need a little patience and pay attention to the queue: on the left for the ravioli, on the right for an unspeakably filled crepe that I could not taste only because I reached a degree of satiety.

And, in all of this, it is not yet dinner time.

paolo sarpi, milan
paolo sarpi, milan

Do you need me to tell you what you can buy in the super Mall in via Paolo Sarpi?

I don't think so, also because the answer is "everything you couldn't even imagine existed": sweet and sour garlic, 10 kilo bags of dried mushrooms, cans of soy sauce, ginger candies, prunes of all kinds and even the tamarind tea.

So much and everything that we go out empty-handed, not to protest against consumerism, but we are overwhelmed by the inability to choose which oddity is the most bizarre.

bubble tea, milan, paolo sarpi
bubble tea, milan, paolo sarpi

Last thing: before going to dinner, by schedule, or starting over with the Chinese breakfast, for bulimic madness, I have to taste the bubble tea again. We enter the Cin Cin Bar, we take it al taro and traditional. No, I'm not convinced: the slightly earthy taste, the sticky balls …

I pay, 3.50 euros here too, and I express my perplexity to the Chinese bartender. I get a final toast with a shot of vodka, chilli and Sambuca.

Could my gastro-nonsense afternoon in Chinatown have ended better?

Popular by topic